Grief Counseling That I Thought I Didn’t Need

Expressing my thoughts and feelings is not something I am good at. As much as possible, I want to keep everything to myself, even if it hurts. I don’t want other people to meddle with my emotions and tell me what to do. I don’t like to listen to suggestions that I genuinely know won’t help me. I am more hesitant to seek advice because I usually blame people whenever things go down the pit. I am not that confident to share my emotional crisis with others because I find their opinions useless in some ways. Luckily, all those actions are excused since I am a man, after all.

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But somehow, things changed when I scheduled myself for a counseling service. Some of my friends told me to try clinical therapy. Still, I prefer a short-term interaction with a licensed healthcare provider than go through a tiring process of psychological intervention. Besides, at that moment, when I considered meeting a stranger for the first time, I knew it wasn’t the thing I need. It is more like trying to give in to my friends’ favor so they would quit bugging me about emotional healing and all that stuff.

Frankly, I don’t like it. There are series of questions that I often leave blank because I find it unnecessary to answer. Some questions do not make sense. The only thing I can see in that particular moment sitting on that chair is the counselor trying to push me to the edge. He wanted me to break down and give in to what he calls an emotional dilemma that I believed (at that moment) I do not have.

Denial And Lies

I understand that my loss is something I can’t control. When my family died in the car accident not long ago, I told myself that “It’s already their time.” Thus, there is not much need to soak in agony and misery. Death is inevitable, and I get that. Thus, I don’t have to mourn that long and feel bad about it. I also do not need to let sadness take control as it will pass. Isn’t that supposed to be nice that I didn’t allow myself to crawl up in bed and wait for my teary eyes to run dry? So what that my family dies? I can still have a lot of people to surround me. So, why make a fuss about an inevitable event?

But for some reason, my counselor told me that I don’t exactly see it that way. I thought to myself, “How is he even confident in saying that? Can he read my mind?” Frankly, I find it bullshit. What does this person know about me? Why is he trying to ruin my emotional fortress? Is he playing with my mental state? Honestly, at that moment, I thought that seeing a counselor was a total waste of time, money, and energy.

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On top of that, he said, “You’re in pain. You just don’t want to admit it“. In the back of my mind, I was like, “the nerve of this stranger to tell me what I am going through. I am okay“. The fact that I can still manage to go through life without worrying about that incident is supposed to be something he should acknowledge as overall strength. I replied, “no, I am not. I wholeheartedly accepted my loss“.

The Unspoken Words 

After that response, there was this awkward pause. There is a deafening silence in the room. I was baffled there, waiting for the argument to continue. But to my dismay, my counselor just sighs. It was not something I expected, but I find it satisfying. It meant that he accepted defeat and that particular reaction made him realize that I don’t need his service at all. Then he sat straight, directly stared at me, and said, “it’s okayyou are not alone.”

At that moment, something inside me shattered. I felt my body shivers, and my heart beats so fast. Tears fell from my eyes, and my mind screams for help. I couldn’t believe I never saw that coming. I was too focused on showing off and convincing people that I am okay when the truth is, I can barely make it. The lies I tell myself became my truth, and that ruined my reality.

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That moment was hell. I was crying and screaming in unbearable emotional pain. I wanted everyone to know that I don’t want to be alone. Everything was pitched-black, and the memory of my whole family in the coffin is all I can think of. My counselor tapped my back, and that made me feel the need to cry more. I was holding his arms and clearly saying nothing but, “please, help me.”

Insight

When I think about that counseling day, I feel blessed. I realized that the only way I can deal with grief is by not skipping its process. I now know that I have to mourn as much as I want, cry as often as I need, and feel the pain so I can embrace it and move forward.

 

Things I Told My Counselor About My Issues With Grief And Depression

It is not that long ago since my sister passed away. But together with that memory is the understanding that I will never have the courage to get over the emotional and mental agony it brought me. It was an exhausting and most devastating experience that somehow crippled me intensely. Thus, I expect it to stick with me for the rest of my life. Of course, I know and understand the importance of moving on. Honestly, I tried. I genuinely tried my best to get over the bereavement so I can continue living with my life. However, the pain is just too strong that I can’t find the right mindset to help me get through with it.

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But please don’t judge me when I tell you that these sorrows due to losing a loved one are something I genuinely want to endure. I want to get emotionally and mentally disabled so that I can have an excuse to become a weak and vulnerable individual. Yes, I know it is wrong and that I should not use my sister’s death as a tool for self-destruction, but I have my reasons. I will tell it all in this article, the same as how I told my counselor about it.

My Emotional Agony

The thing is, I used to be an emotionally and mentally strong person. I am confident about what I can do, and I always try my best to accomplish things no matter what. That type of personality made me so likable in the eyes of my friends, family, colleagues, and other people who used to know me. I am very proud to be a person with high spirits. But that is my problem. I am confident, self-aware, and knowledgeable about my character and skills. And that is the reason I hate it.

I hate being emotionally and mentally strong because nobody seems to ask if I am okay. With what people see through me and all those positive qualities I have, they do not intend to spare a little time asking me if I need their comfort. It is as if I am not allowed to feel pain and sorrow and stay capable and strong. That is the reason why after my sister’s death, I shut down. For me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be able to get close to my weak self. And I thank that moment.

Don’t get it wrong. It is not that I am happy that my sibling died. It is not like that, and do not try and misinterpret it. What I am genuinely saying is that, due to my loss, I realized that it is okay to sometimes feel emotionally and mentally unstable. I now like the feeling that it is normal to become the one who needs help.

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Grief And Depression

Understandably, when people look at me, they instantly knew that the changes in my behavior are somehow related to grief. With that particular death of my sister, they already made up their mind that the things happening to me right now are a mere representation of bereavement. Thus the way I negatively talk, act, respond in front of them creates room for excuse. But honestly, in my opinion, it was not grief. It was merely the depressive state I am dealing with even a long time ago.

Yes, I am hurt because I lost someone so dear to me. But before all this, I already felt so much pain from wanting to be seen and heard. I already have those moments in life where I had to hide and isolate myself, so I can cry wholeheartedly. I already lived with the times that I had to lie about what I truly feel in order to make someone else happy. I already experienced avoiding the pain and keeping it inside so that others won’t find a reason to feel sorry for me. I already endured those kinds of pain that not even grief can exceed an amount.

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It Is Still Not About Me

After quite a while of people seeing me like this, and despite being honest about what I truly feel inside, I still get disappointed with people’s words and actions. They are not convinced that I can be a person that would require some help. And since they already know me as someone who would manage to deal with an emotional and mental struggle, they are not at all concerned about my well-being. Sadly, I am putting my mental and emotional state on the line so that people around me could acknowledge my inabilities and needs. As much as I desire to get better, I kind of like it that I am not okay. I guess that is the way it is for most “strong-enough” individuals. In the end, it is still not about me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Rumination And Anxious Thoughts

In times of despair, perhaps you can relate to me when I say I have these lingering thoughts in my head that somehow makes me feel bad about life. There is a voice that often tells me I am not worthy of anything, and it sucks! It sucks because I believe it, and I live for it. I am never against it, and I don’t try to fight it. I just go with the flow and instill those negative descriptions about me that my head keeps telling me.

But honestly, part of me wants to end it. A portion of my mind wants to believe that somehow, I can do unimaginable things. It gives me a little hope and courage to change the way I think about myself. Most times, it makes me happy. It makes me wish to try new things. But unfortunately, when I am just about to start that point of positive alteration in my life, I go back to my old self, and things are again, on square one.

This sense of rumination, or the continual thinking of the same old things, affects all aspects of my life. It ruins my relationship with my family, friends, and ex-wife. I can’t blame them. A person like me can’t even handle a simple decision-making process and can’t even handle his own thoughts and feelings. Thus, I deserve this agony. I believe I deserve to grieve over my emotional and mental health.

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What is rumination anxiety? 

For other people, rumination is a transient hostile experience, but for some, it could make them feel like they’re not in control of themselves. It ultimately leads to anxiety or depression symptoms. Rumination can make a person think that he is useless and bad and should be ashamed of himself.

Is rumination a mental illness? 

Rumination is occasionally considered a silent mental illness due to its effects, which are often underestimated. However, it plays a vital part in mental health conditions like eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

What is obsessive rumination disorder? 

A fixation on losses characterizes this, actions done and not done, perceived errors, and opportunities not taken. The emotions connected to obsessive rumination include regret, envy, anger, and guilt.

How do I get rid of unwanted ruminating thoughts? 

Some tips can effectively address ruminating thoughts. A person can start with creating a plan of action – and take action when necessary. There’s also a diverting of attention when a person notices that he’s beginning to ruminate. It is significantly important to look for a distraction that could help break unpleasant thoughts. It would also help to question and challenge the thoughts to reassess life goals. Work on improving self-confidence, learn to meditate and identify and understand your rumination triggers.

How do I stop OCD intrusive thoughts? 

Do not ignore your intrusive thoughts. Attend to them, acknowledge him, and permit them to get into your system. After you’ve done all these, find a way to move on. Do not be scared of your thoughts because they simply that – just thoughts. You should not let them be more than what they are. Take these thoughts less seriously and be looser in your emotional reactions towards them.

How do you deal with unwanted thoughts? 

To self-manage your intrusive thoughts, you can try these:

  • Mark these thoughts as intrusive.
  • Remember that these thoughts are involuntary and not your own doing.
  • Acknowledge and permit these thoughts to get into your mind.
  • Practice ‘floating’ and tolerating time to just pass
  • Keep in mind that less is more – and better.

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Are intrusive thoughts a mental illness? 

In a few cases, an intrusive thought could result from a primary mental health disorder, such as PTSD or OCD. Intrusive thoughts could also be an indication of other health conditions like dementia or brain injury.

What medication helps with intrusive thoughts? 

Medications that help with intrusive thoughts include:

  • Paroxetine (Pexeva). It is prescribed for adults only.
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac). This one is for kids over seven and can also be prescribed for adults.
  • Fluvoxamine. For adults and also for kids over eight years old.

Sertraline (Zoloft). Adults can take this one as well as children over six.

 Does CBD help with intrusive thoughts? 

Experts think that CBD may be able to decrease anxiety and intrusive thoughts as well. Cannabidiol may also be effective in helping the hippocampus and how it is involved with intrusive thoughts. It is apparently due to how CBD oil is capable of binding together GABA receptors.

What are examples of intrusive thoughts? 

Here are different examples of intrusive thoughts.

  • Intrusive sexual thoughts where it contains mental imagery of sexual behaviors that the person finds abhorrent or immoral
  • Negative thinking is random regarding one’s self disbelief.
  • Thoughts of self-harm. At times, intrusive thoughts can be vicious.
  • Delusional views indicate a false idea that abnormally affects a person’s content of thought.

What are intrusive thoughts a sign of? 

As per the National Institute of Mental Health, these intrusive thoughts are some of the indications of PTSD. They are also a symptom of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety. They are undesirable thoughts that seem to appear out of nowhere.

What are OCD intrusive thoughts? 

OCD intrusive thoughts are persistent, recurrent, and unwanted thoughts, impulses that interfere and may lead to anxiety or distress. You may want to ignore them or make them disappear by doing a routine or compulsive behavior. These obsessive thoughts usually interfere when you’re trying to do or think about other things.

Can intrusive thoughts go away? 

Intrusive thoughts do not create a lasting impression. Ordinary thoughts disappear, but intrusive ones persist longer and most often come back. In some instances, intrusive thoughts may lead to mental health disorders like PTSD or OCD.

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Insight

Rumination is entirely dangerous for emotional and mental health. Over time, it intensifies and prolongs symptoms of severe depression. It also impairs the ability to think and regulate emotions according to their specific use. It can cause isolation, mental and emotional damage, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression Symptoms

“Wake up, wake up. Please wake up!” These are the words I kept repeating over and over while I was in front of my father’s casket. It was an entirely devastating event in my life I wish I never experienced. I thought I could get over it as it would be easy for me to accept the truth once I finally saw him lying peacefully on the coffin. But it was too painful that I snapped and lost all the right senses I have. I wanted him to wake up and tell me things will be okay. Unfortunately, that was way too impossible to happen, of course.

My father died, I bet, without agony since it was merely a heart attack. But I should not have to be thankful for that because I wasn’t there when he died. I was too damn busy living my life and enjoying every inch of freedom I have away from home. Am I selfish? I bet I am. All these years, I kept blaming myself for that because I was never entirely present in his life.

“That’s okay,” I told myself. “At least you didn’t have to see my father suffer long, which can be too dreadful and exhausting at some point.” Well, it was a lie that I had to tell myself. I need to convince myself that my father’s death is acceptable and that my guilt of not being there should be excused. But who am I kidding? It was emotionally and mentally painful. Everything about his death is unacceptable. And the fact that I wasn’t even there makes it hard for me to consider accepting it.

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Grief And Mental Health

After a while of thinking about the guilty feeling I have, I went on full self-isolation. I have this weird feeling that people around me are blaming me and talking behind my back. I’m sure it was not my fault. But the way they looked at me, it was as if I’m the one who killed my dad. That thought lingers for a long period that it made me choose to self-destruct.

From then on, I became mentally unstable. I often see myself crying in the dark for no reason. I get too anxious and stress just thinking about going out and talking to people. The devastating feeling I have after my father’s death grew more every day, and it made me a different person. Yes, it was a mental health issue now, and it is called depression.

What are the four types of depression? 

The four common types of depression that people know are Major Depression, Psychotic Depression, Peripartum or Postpartum Depression, and Situational Depression.

 What is the significantly reliable symptom of depression? 

Signs and symptoms of depression differ from one person to another. Some individuals can show tearfulness, feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness, while others may appear to have a sense of uplifted spirit despite struggling with mental health. The same goes for those who often feel angry, irritable, or frustrated, while others can stay calm and relaxed. However, it can be a strong manifestation of clinical depression when an individual loses interest or pleasure in almost all normal activities he once likes, such as sex, hobbies, or sports.

 What are the five signs of mental illness? 

The common five signs of mental illness start with excessive worry or anxiety and paranoia. There is also a long-lasting sadness and unexplained irritability. Extreme changes in moods and dramatic changes in sleeping or eating pattern are also present. Lastly, there is social withdrawal.

 Is violence a symptom of depression? 

Some studies often relate violence to depression. That is because depressed individuals are often three times more likely to commit and engage in a violent crime. That is due to the mental health’s effect that promotes genetic vulnerability and faulty mood regulation.

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 How do I know if I am bipolar? 

Mania or bipolar disorder can cause symptoms that can determine the condition. It includes feelings or over happiness for long periods. There is also less need for sleep and feeling extremely impulsive or restless. Bipolar disorder can also make you easily distracted and make you talk very fast with racing thoughts.

 What are the signs of bipolar in a woman? 

The signs of bipolar in a woman mostly happen in general. These include having a high or irritated mood, rapid speech flow, reduced sleep, flights of ideas or racing thoughts, and elevated self-esteem or grandiosity. There is also a level of unexplained energy but then gets easily distracted.

 What triggers bipolar? 

The triggers of bipolar usually manifest in the physical aspect. There is a sleep disturbance that often leads to insomnia. There is also an overwhelming problem in everyday life, such as financial strain, work or school pressure, and relationship issues. But those are not limiting factors. Bipolar disorder can get triggered by drug or alcohol abuse, periods of high stress, a series of traumatic events, the death of a loved one, and genetics.

 What are the signs of anger issues? 

Anger issues are different from one person to another. Often, the emotion gets misunderstood because many people think it only comes from constant irritability. Though that can add as a trigger, the rage and anxiety can come from emotional symptoms caused by particular life stressors. Thus, if there is an overwhelming feeling of looking for trouble or imagining deeply about hurting oneself and others, the person is experiencing an anger disorder. It is vital to organize and manage thoughts before the worse gets into action.

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 What causes hate? 

The strong feelings of hatred can come from an intense emotional developing dislike for a lot of things. Individuals might begin to hate another person or group when they feel envious. If the strong feeling makes them want what others have, the feelings tend to grow. Hatred can come from people’s perceptions of others. But it also affects their personal history and its effects on our personality, ideas, beliefs, feelings, and especially their identity. It can also come from failure, guilt, doubt, and misunderstanding.

 What happens in the brain when we get angry? 

The brain, when we get angry, reacts differently. When in a state of outburst, the heart rate, arterial tension, and testosterone production increase. It then released neurotransmitter chemicals causing you to experience a burst of energy that desires to take immediate protective action. These feelings usually last for about a couple of minutes. However, some individuals tend to experience an uncontrollable rage that stays longer.

 What parts of the brain get affected by depression? 

The parts of the brain that gets affected by depression include the main subcortical limbic brain regions. These are the amygdala, hippocampus, and dorsomedial thalamus.

 

 

 

 

On Grieving And Melancholia: Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Grief is a circumstance that all individuals go through when they lose someone they love. Sigmund Freud stressed in a book that he published about grieving that this is also applicable to a concept, loss of fatherland, or freedom. He stressed that it is not right to consider grief as pathological and to be treated. Grief subsides over time, and disrupting this process unreasonably may be dangerous. By this, Freud implies that we must trust an individual’s capacity to endure strains and stresses and surpass challenges through his own efforts.

Freud also emphasized that mourning can take after a pathological form if the connection with the deceased was exceedingly characterized by uncertain emotions or if the mourner has a tendency to become narcissistic – having too many immature personalities. A person can sense an object loss such as grief as damage to his ego. Freud further believed that mourning is an unconscious and conscious process and that grief almost always involves multiple accounts.

Melancholia, on the other hand, is considered a subclass of depression. Individuals who suffer from melancholic depression frequently feel severe guilt and despair. They may need to try hard to feel happy, even when good things are happening in their lives. And while it is not easy to treat, recovery is certainly possible. A qualified mental health provider can guide those with melancholia to help them manage their symptoms.

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Below are frequently answers to frequently asked questions about melancholia.

Is melancholy the same as depression?

The modern definition of melancholy was founded on Kraepelin’s manic-depressive disorder. Depression is a profound or sustained sadness in a person’s everyday life, while melancholy has a unique mood that cannot be translated into severe depression.

What are the symptoms of melancholia?

Symptoms of melancholia include:

  • Loss of interest in things and activities that were once pleasurable
  • Persistent emotions of severe sadness for more extended periods
  • Feeling overly tired or lack of energy
  • Over-sleeping or under-sleeping
  • Over-eating or under-eating
  • Experiencing irritability or anxiety

Is melancholy a mental illness?

Melancholic depression was previously seen as a unique illness, but the American Psychiatric Association does not classify it as an independent mental disorder. Instead, melancholy is now established as a landmark for MDD – meaning that it is a subcategory of major depressive disorder.

What is Melancholia disorder?

Melancholia disorder is a subclass of depression. Individuals with this type of depression frequently feel severe guilt and misery. They might struggle to be happy, despite the good things that are happening in their lives. Melancholia could be daunting to treat, but recovery is indeed possible.

What causes melancholia?

Melancholia is significantly heritable. Individuals with the condition have a higher likelihood of having a family history of suicide and mood problems. Psychological and social factors seldom influence melancholia the way they may with the rest of the depression subclasses. Experts believe that variations in the brain might be the cause of melancholia.

Can melancholy be happy?

Melancholy is an intricate and sometimes perplexing feeling. The complex nature of the feeling is expressed like this: Melancholia is the delight of being sad. It is the joy of feeling sad. It is the joyfulness of being miserable.

How do I stop melancholy?

Melancholic depression is frequently believed to be biologically based and specifically extreme type of depression. Its treatment entails taking antidepressants, getting into electroconvulsive therapy, or embracing other empirically-based therapies like interpersonal therapy and CBT.

What is a melancholic personality?

People with melancholia are inclined to be keen, information-oriented, and analytical. They are profound feelers and thinkers, and they are introverted; hence, they don’t want to be the center of attention. Someone with a melancholic personality eventually become self-sufficient – someone who is often anxious and distant.

What are the 4 personality styles?

As suggested by the four-temperament theory, the four primary personality types are choleric, phlegmatic, sanguine, and choleric.

At what age is your personality developed?

Large-scope studies have revealed that personality development’s most active time seems to be between 20 and 40 years old. While personality does grow increasingly stable with age and usually plateaus when a person is almost 50, personality never extends to a stage of total stability.

How much of our personality is genetic?

A vital thing to note about personality traits is that they do not depend on how you were brought up by your parents but instead by what you acquired biologically from them – for example, your DNA. Genetic heritability is responsible for 50% of every individual’s psychological variations, from personality to mental skills.

How permanent is your personality?

If there is a personality in you that you are not happy about, you can certainly do something about it. That’s the good news that one’s personality – one’s thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and qualities – that make you who you are can be transformed into who you wish to be. This is because personality is temporary and not permanent.

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Today, the APA does not acknowledge melancholia as a separate form of depression and is considered a type of MDD. When a person presents with melancholia and depression signs, it is diagnosed as a major depressive disorder with melancholic symptoms.

A major depressive disorder is usually managed with the latest antidepressants like SSRIs. These include popular medications such as paroxetine, fluoxetine, or citalopram. However, many people who suffer from MDD with melancholia respond better to antidepressants that were manufactured earlier. These are the Monoamine oxidase inhibitors or the tricyclic antidepressants and the SNRIs, like venlafaxine. All these medications help prevent the breakdown of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, leading to increased levels of these ‘feel good’ substances.

Additionally, talk therapy is also a commonly recommended means of treating people with melancholia and depression. A combination of talk therapy and medications is more effective than using them separately. Talk therapy entails visiting a therapist regularly to discuss one’s symptoms and other issues related to them.

 

 

 

How To Hold On To Your Mental Health While Grieving

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My mother battled cancer for less than three years before the disease took over her body. We assumed that the cancer cells would not stand a chance against chemotherapy, considering the doctor managed to detect cancer early. She also took the correct medicine and did everything that the doctors ordered.

However, no one could ever prepare you for the grief that you would experience once loved ones passed away. It genuinely felt like a part of my heart died, too. Despite that, I did not want to end up in a mental hospital—Mom would have rolled in her grave if that happened.

Instead, I looked for various ways to hold on to my mental health while still grieving.

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Look For Reasons To Laugh

Whenever I used to go to funerals, I was weirded by family members who sometimes laughed with their guests. Granted, it was post-burial, and they said that their dearly departed wouldn’t have wanted to see them sad, but it still felt awkward.

When my mother died, though, I finally understood why those people laughed. My chest felt significantly lighter after laughing at my cousin’s jokes. For a moment, I almost forgot that I was at a funeral. It was an incredible thing because all I did before was cry and mope around. If Mom were alive, she would have told me, “You should laugh some more, dear. I don’t want you to be too sad because of me.”

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Remember The Deceased During Their Prime

The memorial service that I got for my mother was kind enough to set up an hour-long eulogy for her. So, I invited her former colleagues and our closest relatives to talk about their fondest memories with Mom.

On my part, I was too scared to go up on the stage to give a speech about her. It was more because I had never been to a eulogy before, so I feared messing up the solemn occasion because of my stupidity.

Luckily, I was the last one to talk, so I learned from the folks who went before me. Their stories about Mom focused mostly on her prime years before she got diagnosed with cancer. An aunt even said my mother caused her to get ear cartilage piercing at 45. Though she was annoyed about it at first, she considered it as a happy memory now.

I followed her lead and recalled the many times when it was just me and Mom against the world. Though crying was inevitable, I shed some tears of joy for having a wonderful mother.

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Accept The Death

If you have heard of the several stages of grief, you probably know that the last step is acceptance. They say that you need to deal with various emotions before you can feel the latter. They say that’s the healthiest way to overcome the death of a loved one. My beef with this idea, though, was that no one told me that it was easier to grieve if I accepted my mother’s death first.

How did I come to that conclusion, you might ask?

Well, I had been feeling depressed ever since the doctor said that Mom had a few weeks to live. I did not want to accept that she could honestly pass away and live me alone in this world because the thought was too painful to bear. And when it happened, I almost didn’t want to go home or look at her in the casket.

Once I accepted that my mother was already gone, everything seemed to come into focus. I knew what to do with my life; I felt brave to see Mom and check if her makeup was even. Our relatives asked what changed, and my simple reply was, “I felt enlightened.”

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Stay Away From Loved One’s Belongings For As Long As Necessary

After the burial, my aunts encouraged me to go through Mom’s belongings at home and pack everything I wanted to send to Good Will. Knowing my mother’s character, she would love to see that we did not throw away her things and that they all went to the less fortunate folks all over the city. Nevertheless, I declined when they offered to help me pack on that same night.

While I already accepted that Mom would no longer come back in this lifetime, I still wanted to bawl every time I thought of going through her possessions. After all, it was one thing to see her getting buried six feet under the ground. It was another thing to relive the memories that came with every item in her house. I waited until her 40th death day before I did the task, considering that’s when I realized that holding on to her belongings was too childish.

Final Thoughts

My newfound purpose in life was to counsel individuals who had a tough time accepting a loved one’s death. It was not always easy, but it was worth it. Not only did I manage to save my mental health, but I also became instrumental in saving others. What more could I ask for?

Supporting Family Members And Friends As They Move On From Grief

 

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It is natural to be worried and threatened to be in the grief support network. This may be one of the reasons why loving people sometimes hurt the ones they care about, particularly to their grieving loved ones, which may include family members and significant others. Optimistically, after reading this, you’ll be comforted in the thought that your fears and anxieties are normal and do not in any way indicate that you have a profound personal problem.

Just a few months ago, some family members and friends grieved for the loss of a loved one. I sent them cards and beautiful flowers to remind them that I would be there when they needed me, but I didn’t feel that way. What I felt were uselessness and unworthiness. I knew these significant others were getting into the dark and lonely path of grief and that there was nothing more I could give them but my silent support, comfort, and encouragement.

Looking at these people that I love going through dark and lonely times, I recognized a few realities that were equally important.

  1. There is such a thing as an amazingly supportive family and friend network.
  2. Having a strong support network is not about just one person verbalizing or doing what needs to be done. Instead, it is about having a support system made of loved ones that collaborate to find ways to help in whatever way they can. Usually, it’s the small actions that are most accepted and acknowledged.

In addition, here are some of the most useful and supportive ways to help your grieving family members and friends.

  • Be there for them. A lot of people who have experienced loss say that those who have given physical and emotional support were among the most appreciated. When you say you’ll be there, it’s different from just saying, “I’ll be there when you need me.” Truth be told, this is frequently the last thing someone says before he gets lost in the wind when his grieving family or friend asks for his help. He definitely is not there.

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How can you be there in the real sense of the word? Well, for one, you will show up when your bereaved loved one needs you, or you can check in on them regularly through texts or calls. Even sending them some thoughtful and loving messages will surely let them know you are there for them.

 

  • Encourage them to take a break. I remember one of the grief theories, the Dual Process Model, which states that the griever moves from facing his loss and avoiding it. It also states that taking a break from the whole process is actually healthy, and this does make a lot of sense. We all need some time to feel relax and do things that evoke positive behaviors and emotions. You, on the other hand, can be your enabler in this. Help your loved one feel enlightened and comforted without really forgetting his loss – just the feeling of rest and relaxation from all the hurt and the grief. Laughing with the griever, taking him to his favorite restaurant, sharing wonderful memories together, or just accompanying him at home and watching feel-good movies.

 

  • Send him something. Some think that giving flowers isn’t all that great because after they’ve been used for service, they’d just be thrown in the trash or let them wilt in one corner until they’d smell dreadful. But, I do still send flowers, especially when I think that it’s appropriate. These are times when I know that my loved one loves to receive flowers and will certainly be comforted by them.

However, if you wish to send them other things besides flowers, home-cooked meals would also be a great alternative. Other better suggestions include meaningful cards, old things that once belonged to the person they lost, or self-care items.

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  • Give practical means of support. Anyone who loses someone needs to receive practical support perhaps because their loved one who passed away probably was the one who managed the finances or other household obligations, or simply because losing someone makes it quite difficult to focus on his usual activities. If you want to give them support in practical ways, think about what your family or friend might need assistance with that you can share your skills with. If you’re good in the kitchen, you can offer to cook a few meals for them. You could also give them a hand in cleaning the house or watching over their children when they’re off to work or go somewhere important.

 

  • Commit to ‘go through the dark’ with them. One thing that people often say that they appreciate it is when their family and friends commit to being there for them even through the dark path – when they feel like weeping the whole afternoon, listen to them if they want to talk about their loved one who died, understand them when they are irritable or frustrated, and simply accept their loved one’s grief after months or even years.

 

 

 

What Is Grief For People With Anxiety?

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Grieving over someone we lost is devastating enough. There are no words to explain how much sadness and loneliness one may feel over the death of a loved one. All of a sudden, the whole world falls apart right in front of you, and there is no one to hold on to. You are all alone, and it’s like being trapped and crippled inside a cold and dark tunnel. You know the only way out is to find the light which will lead outside, but you cannot move. That’s what grieving feels like.

Continue reading “What Is Grief For People With Anxiety?”

COVID-19 – The New Normal

After almost three months of constant updates about the COVID-19 virus, I feel like there is no way I am going back to the way things were. Pretty much, it is impossible to continue doing what I used to because I am still trying the best to avoid the frustration from the unfortunate situation. But looking at all the things that had happened, here are some of the few that I believe would become what they call the “new normal.”

Leaving The House Without A Face Mask

Indeed, one of the most common things that I see people will continue doing for the next few more months is keeping their surgical masks on. Since there is no cure or vaccine for the virus yet, this is the best way to prevent it. However, people should consider wearing the right mask since not all are designed for virus protection.

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Buying Necessities In Bulk

Now, try to imagine one person that will go to the grocery store only to buy a piece of product. Perhaps before, it is okay because that’s how people benefit from buying only a thing they need. But now, exposure to public places such as the grocery store can be worrisome. Thus, I can expect that people won’t spend an hour falling in line at the door only to buy a single item.

Selling Things And Negotiating Online

Unfortunately, a lot of establishments are now deciding to close their stores, especially small businesses. That’s because people tend to become more practical. At this time of the pandemic, people are choosing practicality over convenience. So with that kind of change in the business industry, I know I will see a lot of ads on social media platforms. Businesses will more likely continue their promotion and negotiation through online advertisements.

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Avoiding Dine-Ins And Choosing Takeouts

One way the virus spreads is when you surround yourself with too many people you do not know. For restaurants, that is a normal thing to happen. But since it is essential to follow social distancing, I won’t be expecting people to eat at restaurants even if the store decides to open. If ever people crave for something at the store, they will probably consider a takeout.

Going Outside The House Unscheduled

For the next couple of months, I believe the majority of people will forget about staycations and traveling. Well, some might go outside their house unscheduled. But that’s not because they want to travel and go to different uncertain places, but because they need to do an important thing outside the house. Thus I can conclude that people will still continue to home quarantine themselves until the development of a vaccine.

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Home-School And Online Classes

Despite every countries approach to strict safety measures to push through with traditional schools, most parents will not risk their kids’ life, exposing them to the crowd. Therefore, I can expect children to be home-schooled or skipped a year of class. But for innovative reasons, there will surely be an online class ready for the kids. Unfortunately, only the can-afford ones can use that learning-teaching strategy.

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Prioritizing Sanitation

Last but not least is the possibility of prioritizing sanitation. With the deadly virus outside of every family’s home, no one would dare not to clean and disinfect their house. For the next couple of months, I will be expecting people to always wash their hands and care for their hygiene more, which is absolutely okay. I can see how people value their health over anything in this world right now. So prioritizing sanitation is helpful in ways.

The Two Types Of People In This Pandemic Situation

The COVID-19 pandemic is not something I see every day. Honestly, the whole experience is scary. Anxiety and confusion fill me every time I think about the future. No, it is not that I am not looking forward to the end of this. It is just that I have these momentary feelings that I am incapable of handling. You might think that I possess too much negativity, but that is because the emotional and psychological pain continues to grow as the situation becomes uncontrollable. In times like this, I now recognize the failure of humanity.

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Survival Of The Elites

The pandemic made me realize that only those who sit in the upper levels are the ones who can protect themselves far more than the ones at the bottom. The pandemic shows that status matters in our society. Well, honestly, there is nothing new to this. Even if I go back in the decades of history, it will still prove to me that the elites hold the most momentous chances of survival. That is because they never adequately care, and they never will. Others can argue with me on this one. But my argument stays as is.

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Well, some may show compassion at some point. But it will not be enough to consider sacrificing a significant amount of effort for the needy. Of course, there are those people who try and help others. But I am not buying it. The majority of those who support the needy seek attention. They show everyone they are capable of helping but still consider a limited scope. These individuals pretend to care, but only for validation. When I think about it, this pandemic becomes a way of saying that majority of people are selfish and inconsiderate.

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A Free-Ticket To Survival

But of course, I am not taking all the points from the people of the upper class. Individuals at the bottom of society are also selfish and naïve. The majority of them have this mentality that they should be the ones receiving a priority due to their status. Most of them use their situation to get whatever they want. Well, if you ask me, I don’t consider that and never will I support that idea. Though I must admit, not all individuals in the bottom of the society see things the way others do. However, a lot of them are using this pandemic situation to raise their complaints about not getting or having anything.

To be honest, why would anyone provide for them? Why would other people become responsible for their unfortunate situation? Isn’t life all about choices and decisions? So why would someone become liable for the needs of others if they, themselves, did nothing to change it? Thinking about this makes me sick. The majority of people at the bottom are illogical thinkers. That instead of doing something to make their lives easier, they blame those people who work hard and managed to get their lives better.

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Takeaway

Honestly, there are those people who do not think of taking advantage of others. These individuals work with the passion of helping one another regardless of their statuses and capabilities. There are also the ones who never complain and focus only on utilizing what is in front of them. But due to the situation, it somehow makes them re-think everything they do. Sadly, the more the situation becomes worse, the more they realize that it is all about survival. That no matter how good or bad the deeds are, the assurance of living is the top priority. But for me, it is always like that. Regardless if there is a non-existing pandemic, people are selfish by nature.